JANUARY is the period for mayor’s permit renewal and payment of corresponding local taxes, a process that entails not just financial but valuable man-hour costs for businesses. With the passage of the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, more and more local government units (LGUs), mostly cities, have been rolling out systems to make the annual renewal operation simpler and faster. Among the common initiatives is the setting up of one-stop satellite sites such as in the cities of Valenzuela and Zamboanga, and online processing, including payments, such as in Makati and Cagayan de Oro. Here are some LGUs that recently launched ease-of-doing-business projects:
NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION: PARAÑAQUE CITY
THE Parañaque City LGU launched last week its integrated business permit renewal system called Project Express Lane Operation (Project ELO). Business Permits and Licensing Office chief Melanie S. Malaya, in a statement, said one of the salient features of Project ELO is the elimination of securing a separate permit from the barangay office. “With Project ELO business owners need not go to their Barangay Hall to apply for a barangay clearance. It is now applied, paid and issued at the Parañaque City Hall along with the Fire Safety Inspection Certificate (FSIC), Sanitary Permit, Certificate of Conformance from the Planning Office and the Mayor’s Permit to operate a business,” Ms. Malaya said. “This integrated and simplified process eliminate days of back and forth from the barangay and to other departments of the city which waste the time and resources of business permit applicants.” The system also consolidates the requirements for workers’ occupational permits.
BUSINESSES applying for a new permit or renewal can soon opt to pay the fees online. “Those applying for new business permits or renewing their business permits will have to secure their business tax code payment from the CTO (City Treasurer’s Office) and then present it when they pay through the partner banks (online or physically),” CTO head Erwin P. Alparaque said. The partners are Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines. “We are now ready for the online payment, we are just waiting for the go signal of Land Bank but anytime, the online payment will be fully operational,” he said in a statement. A confirmation slip issued by the bank after payment will have to be presented to the CTO for the release of the official receipt and the business permit. “This will help decongest the CTO and will increase ease of doing business in the city,” said Councilor Joanne Bonguyan-Quilos, chair of the council committee on information technology. She added this will also help increase the city’s ranking in terms of ease of doing business since the goal is not only to allow taxpayers to pay online, but also to connect all the payment centers of the city later on. Ms. Bonguyan-Quilos said the pilot phase of the online payment system will cover business tax and occupancy permit payments, while phase 2 will include the payment of real property tax. — Carmencita A. Carillo